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Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Review of the Facts

          
          
          PERMANENT MISSION
          OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
          TO THE UNITED NATIONS
          622 THIRD AVENUE
          NEW YORK. N.Y. 10017
          HUMAN RIGHTS
          IN
          THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
          a review of the facts
          
        
          
          . 5.
          The history of international organization in general and the United
          Nations in particular is unfortunately filled with shattered hopes and
          inspirations, and manipulated goals and objectives which in the beginning
          have arisen from the well-intentioned western ideals. It is well known that
          the Western industrial countries bear the most responsibility for these
          problems and the present inefficiency of many important bodies of the United
          Nations. They have nullified many efforts of UNCTAD, Committee on
          Disarmament, Committee on Indian Ocean, Conference on the Law of the
          Sea, and many other United Nations bodies to the degree that one can
          hardly find any international organization which has be n exempted from the
          effects of the destructive measures taken by these Western countries in
          order to maintain their dominance through manipulation and political pressure.
          This destructive dominance has unfortunately been exerted so systematically
          on the different Human Rights Organs of the United Nations that the real
          purpose of the Charter and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights have
          been ignored. It has become the practice that when a progressive regime
          takes the positionof opposing imperialistic policies of the United States and
          its allies, it automatically becomes the target of baseless allegations concerning
          human rights. On the other hand, gross vir tions of human rights in countries
          whose rulers have shown their servitude to the Western imperialism remain
          undetected and unwortly discussion. Furtnermore, the Western industrialized
          countries try to cover up their own violation of fundamental human rights by
          keeping the international bodies invalued in lengthy discussion of baseless
          allegations of violation of human rights in progressive countries.
          The example of the treatment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Human
          Rights Organs of the United Nations is most illustrative. Since the victory
          of the Islamic Revolution, the imperialist pro aganda machinery started a
          large-scale campaign to discredit the Islamic Republic of Iran for alleged
          human rights violations. Baseless allegations concerning torture, arbitrary
          executions, religious persecution, which have not only been repeatedly
          rejected by the govern:nant of the Islamic Republic of Iran but also challenged
          as to the value of their sources have been repeatedly made in the international
          Organizations. At the same time, the terrorist activities of those organizations
          which provide their baseless information to these Human Rights Organizations
          have never been considered. The brutal murders, tortures and massacres
          of the innocent people of Iran by these Organizations have been neglected,
          while the just punishment of the terrorists responsible for these atrocities
          are faced with condemnation and cries for the safeguard of human rights. This
          pamphlet attempts to present some facts concerning the allegations of Human
          Rights violations in Iran , and religious persecution. It is hoped that this
          pamphlet which will present that side of the issue which has always been intentionally
          neglected by imperialist media, and human rights bodies will enable those who
          have been the targets of imperialist manipulation to judge according to facts and
          not allegation.
          
        
          
          -
          Section 1
          Opponents or Terrorists
          This section presents a brief account ot' the anti-human activities of the
          counter-revolutionaries, and the MKO (Self proclaimed Mojahedean Khalg
          Organisation which is caned Monafegheen - hypocrits - by our- people), at
          their forefront.
          Witnessing the l orrible crime s, which are committed by the counter-
          revolutionaries who ironically claim to be defenders ot people and selt-
          appointed champions of human rights and freedoms, one cannot but wonder
          as to why the imperialist governments who' so vociferously condemn
          “terrorism” in their own countries, not only remain silent in the case of
          these horrible crimes, but also in a variety of ways, support those responsible
          for these crimes. Furthermore, when these governments speak of the
          punitive actions against, and perhaps executions of these criminals by the
          Iranian Courts of Justice, they announce that those punished were merely
          opposed to the Islamic Republic, without making the slightest reference to
          their innumerable crimes, or even calling them terrorists; thus attempting to
          create in the reader, listener or viewer, the impression that these individuals
          have been punished solely for their opposition to the system of the
          Islamic Republic. Theser baseless allegations have continued despite the fact
          that the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Imam Khomeini have
          repeatedly announced that if these individuals give up their arms and their
          terrorist activities, they can even continUe logic-bound opposition to the
          Islamic system in total freedom.
          One of the crimes committed by these callous counter-revolutionaries
          is their bomb-explosion in Imam Khomeini Square in Tahran on 22 February
          1982, which left 15 martyrs and over 60 others injured. Amongst thase killed
          were young children, primary school studen ts and some street-sweepers.
          A similar incident which took place on the 6th September 1982 resulted
          in the mutilation to death of 20, and serious injury of more than a hundred
          innocent people when a powerful bomb exploded in Khayyam Street in
          Southern Tehran. Among the victims bodies, of a pregnant woman and a
          sucking baby and several elderly people were identified.
          The latest instance of the inhuman mass cres committed by the terrorists
          took place on 1 October 1982, through a devastating explosion in Imam
          Khomini Square. As a result, more than 60 were martyred, over 700 were
          injured, ten private automobiles, two double-decker buses and one bus alona
          with their passengers, many hotels, shops and private houses were destroyed
          or badly damaged. Amongst those mutilated, the bodies of several sucking
          babies, children, elderly people, and many laborers were found. It should be
          noted that all the abovernentioned explosions and similar ones have taken place
          in regions whose inhabitants are amongst the poor and very hardworking strata
          of our nation. Many of Western Radio and TV networks, and newspapers have
          remained dead silent in this respect, for obviously, they would not wish the
          public to become aware of the real terrorist nature of these supposed opponents
          of the Islamic Republic, thus revealing the dishonesty inherent in their
          propaganda.
          
        
          
          Having been mutilated, burned, and charred in blind street explosions,
          and having lost their most beloved children under the torture and blind
          attacks of the inhuman and ferocious terrorisb, our nation has been witnessing
          with astonishment that a parallel propaganda terrorism has been orchestrated
          abroad seeking to back the internal terrorism by launchincr all sorts of
          allegations and lies against the Islánic Republic of Iran. While totally rejecting
          these allegations in different human rights forae, the representatives of the
          Islamic Republic of Iran have often challenged those - representatives who have
          presented fabricated reports against the Iranian Government. to introduce
          formally the sources of these ! ?reports ? ?, but instead of any due response to
          these challenges, the representatives of som western countries in the United
          Nations have continued their hostile attitudes towards the Islamic Revolution.
          With regard to this deceitful approach adopted by some Western governments
          and mass media, one might ask: is it only the Europeans who are human beings
          arid therefore worthy of being defended against the terrorists; and does the
          notion of “human rights?! refer only to defen ing such criminals as Nassiri
          (Head of the SAVAK), Hoveida (Prime Minist r of the ex-Shah), Khiyabani
          (Head of the Iranian terrorists) and the Bahai espionage petwork? One
          wonders if that sucking baby, that primary scnool student with books in his
          hand, that pregnant lady and that working street-sweeper, are not each a
          human being?
          A Report of the MKO's Terrorist Activities,
          Massacres and Bombings
          The following is a partial list of counterrevolutionary activities, randomly
          selected among some of the Major Terrorist Activities of the Counter-revo-
          lutionaries and 1unafiqeen in the Iranian Year 1360 (1981).
          March 30: The assassination attemp- on Ayatollah Rabani Shirazi, one
          of the members of the Guardian Council.
          April 4: The religious judge of Shahreza escaped an assassination attempt.
          April 5: One clergy in Isfahan was assassinated.
          April 6: The Commander of the Central Province Committee was attacked
          by armed men.
          April 26 - An explosion by the counterrevolutionaries left 7 martyrs and
          45 injured in Kerman's Azadi Square.
          May 6: The body of a Bandar Abbas police officer was riddled by 19
          terrorists' bullets.
          June 8; The Shomal Textile Factory was set ablaze by counterrevolutionaries
          and millions of rials in damages were sustained.
          June 21: The Deputy of Educational Affairs of the Saqes Educational
          Department was assassinated.
          
        
          
          I
          -24-
          Section 2
          Religious Persecution ?
          After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a wide range of
          propaganda campaign was launched by the groups and circles opposed to this
          revolution (most of which groups and circles have been proven to have
          undeniable links with Imperialism and Zionism-in a bid to belittle the
          achievements of, and magnify the natural and normal shortcomings following
          - the revolution. Amongst such poisonous pro aganda (for which they resort
          to every channel to convince the world opinion of its credibility) is the
          allegation of maltreatment and potential oppression of Iranian religious minorities
          by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Thus, they give the
          impression that the Islamic Revolution in Iran is opposed to the followers of
          other religions, and is intent on annihilating them by use of force - A
          long time ago, they began a comprehensive and calculated campaign to mas-
          querade these nonsensical fabrications as truly genuine by resorting to all
          sorts of false accusation and spreading of custom-made lies. In luded
          amongst the living examples of such malignant propaganda efforts are the
          ‘allegations and accusations that are spread in connection with the Baha 1 i
          Sect in Iran. For instance, it has been alleged that the Courts of Justice
          of the Islamic Revolution in Iran pass death sentences for the followers of
          the said sect on invented charges: ostensibly for a variety of other reasons,
          but in reality because of their “ religious” beliefs. In response to and
          rejection of this allegation, it is necessary to briefly consider the historical
          background of the Bahaism, and then examine the credibility of the afore-
          mentioned allegations.
          Founders of Bahaism
          In the midst of, 1st World War, the British Empire being one of the most'
          wicked colonizer of all times, spent her utmost effort to defeat the army of
          the Ottoman Empire in order to take overthe Islamic countries especially
          Palestine. In doing so, certain elements of the inhabitants of those lands were
          widely used as collaborators by British Government in covert activities
          against the Ottoman Empire.
          Among those mercenaries, one character who had a reputation for
          whole-hearted loyalty and servitude, for the British Empire, was highly
          successful to render great services for the British army. And because of
          this complicity, as soon as Jamal pasha, the Head of the Ottoman Army became
          aware of this treason, decided to hang him near the Cermel Mountains in
          Palestine. 1] Soon after, the release of this news to the British Cabinet,
          by the army office of the British intelligence, Lord Curzon and Lord
          Lamington started an intensive campaign for the release of their friend.
          Due to this effort, Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Minister, whose shame-
          ful role in the creation of the Zionist State is common knowledge, sent a
          1] Gharne Badee (God passes By) by Shoughi Rabbani (The Bahaf Leader) -
          Vol. 3 - page 291 and 298.
          
        
          
          -25-
          telegram to General Allenby, the Comrnander::of the British. Army in Palestine
          to do his utmost effort to save the life of that loyal servant.
          General Allenby, in turn, ordered the Head of the British Army in Haifa,
          Palestine, to take every necessary step for the prevention of the execution
          of the Oftoman's Court order.
          After the defeat of the Ottoman army and the conquest of Haifa by
          the occupier army of Britain, that spy's life was spared from the verdict of
          Jamal Pasha.
          Later on, General Allenby sent a telegram and informed the officials in
          London of the success of their covert effort.
          When the occupier army of British ruled all over Palestine, that
          character greeted them with large supplies of food and grains which he had
          secretly been storing. In that critical period of the history because of the
          war, there was widespread famine and extreme shortage of food, not only
          in Palestine but all over the Ottoman Empire: The daily death of poor
          and unfortunate hungry inhabitants of Palestine was a common fact of life.
          In these circumstances, when the wheat produced on such a land
          and precious water belonging to the hunger stricken Palestinians was stolen
          and stored by this spy ro feed an aggressive foreign army, naturally such
          services were greatly appreciated by the British Government, so that, he
          was not only given huge amounts of gold, but also was rewarded the high
          medallion of “knighthood” and the honorary title of “Sir”. These awards
          were presented to thi foreign agent by the British Government through
          General Allenby and in return, he sent a letter of appreciation
          and gratitude to the British Government in which he, inter alia says;
          “Oh Lord, the shadow of jus tice has prevailed in this Holy Land arid
          we thank and praise you for this.
          Oh Lord assist the King of England, the Great Emporor, George the Fifth,
          with the blessed grace and endure his shadow firm over this land”
          1] Gharne Badee (God Passes By) by Shoughi Rabbani Vol. 3 - Page 299
          
        
          
          -26-
          His Majesty's Government were so impre 'sed by the services rendered
          to them by this faithful servant, that at the time of his funeral, the Minister
          of British Colonies, Windston Churchill, sent a telegram to Haifa to offer
          the condolences of the British Kingdom to his “followers” and finally,
          Herbert Samuel and Ronald Stores, representing the British Government
          personally participated in the funeral ceremony.
          This faithful servant of the British Empire, a man who interpreted
          the British army's aggression and the defeat of the Muslim soldier as the
          prevalence of the shadow of “justice” and was grateful to ‘Lord' for the
          occurance of such events and above all, was wishing the “endurance of British
          Empire” over the entire Islamic Land of Palestine, was nobody but Mr. Abbb.s
          Afandi, the Son of the Founder of the Bahaism, and a Bahai Leader himself.
          Reli ious or Colonial ? 1issionaries
          These bitter events and the appearances of suôh great servants of
          colonialism was not limited to one or two particular regions. At a time
          when, a new spirit of self consciousness and political awareness in the
          colonized countries was drawing the attention of the oppressed people towards
          the plunder of their economic resources and the destruëtion of their moral
          and cultural fibres by the Western Colonialist, suddenly a number of self-
          proclaimed “prophets” appeared one after another in many of these
          colonized couri tries. On one hand, they were forbidding their followers
          from getting involved in the political affairs of their countries and were the
          staunch advocate of submission and obedien4e to their Government, np
          matter how corrupt or colonized they were, and on the other hand, by
          introducing nei sets of devisive and foreign values in clear contradiction
          to the very tenant of people's fundamental belief, were able to create a wave
          of tension and division among the colonized people and thus diverte l the
          attention of the victims from the main issues of the day, that is the plunder
          of their natural and human resources, by the European colonizers.
          It was not a mere coincidence that suddenly, Bahaism in Iran,
          Ghandianism in Pakistan along with many other similar doctrines by one
          account totalling around twelve appeared all across the newly awakened
          Muslim countries.
          The peculiar insistence by the colonizers to support and spread these
          doctrines is a good indication of their belief in the success of manipulating
          the cultures and religion of colonized Muslim societies, so it is not strange
          at all, to see the leaders of the Bahal group acknowledged themselves, as
          to how the Colonial Government of England officially expressed her wishes
          that the leaders of the group “spend a while in India”. 1] It is
          not unusual then to read from the writings of the Leaders of this group, that
          how anxious the Government of France was, to send their missionaries
          into her colonies, the Muslim African countries of Tunisia, Morocco and
          Algeria. 2]
          1] and 2] Gharne Badi (God Passes By) by Shoughi Rabbani (The
          Bahai Leader) - Vol. 2 - Page 125 and 126.
          
        
          
          - 27 -
          It is quite natural for Muslims to see why the center of International
          Zionism, that is the occupier regime of Palestine, whose animosity and hostilities
          towards Muslims and Islam is an established fact, also is the fostering and
          nourishing cradle of Bahaism. The top leaders of Bahal group testify in their
          own words that the racist, agressive Zionist State of Israel is their most
          secure and most dependable base, when Mrs. Rohiye Maxwell, an American
          Bahai leader openly admits: -
          “1 prefer that our religion, grows in the youngest country,
          Israel. We have attachments and dependence to this country, and in
          fact, one should say our future and that of Israel is joined together
          like rings of a chain”. 1]
          All these facts point to one direction only: The Bahaism is nct religion,
          but rather, it is a political entity created and nourished by anti-islamic
          and Colonial Powers.
          Bahal's non-interference in Political Affairs .
          Considering the aforementioned background, it is no wonder that the
          defunct Shah, the most trustworth friend of the Zionists, and the most faithful
          servant of Imperialism, appointed the Bahai's to the most sensitive and crucial
          posts of his brutal regime. . Bahai leaders clair , hypocritically, that they do
          not interfere in Political Affairs, but at the time when the criminal Pahiavi
          regime was extending its fascism all across the country, denying the people of
          their most basic Human Rights, when even the mildest dissent was brutally
          answered by orture and murder, Bahais, formed the most powerful wing of
          the ruling regime, and never hesitated a moment to help it in its acts of
          suppression and oppression of freedom, liberty, human rights.
          High positions, from the Prime Minister, to the Director General for
          Internal Security, in the infernal SAVAK, and from the key positions in the
          sensitive office of planning organisation to the armed forces of the Shah, to his
          personal advisors, guards and even physician, were all occupied by the Bahais.
          The Shah was so assured of their loyalties to him that among the tens of
          thousands of Iranian doctors, he chose Dr. Ayadi also a Bahai as his own
          private physician and the most trusted advisor, who beside this job also had
          23 more honorary positions in the Shah's army, he was also the man behind the
          whole pharmaceutical market.
          Also, to name only a few, the Shah's brotherinlaw, General Khattani,
          the Commander of Iran National Airforce, General Sanai, Minister of War,
          Mansur Ruhani, the shah's Minister of Agriculture for 13 years, Mrs. Parsa,
          - Minister of Education and General Nassiri, head of SAVAK (mark you, non-
          intervention in politics) were all Bahal's holding key figures in controlling
          and maintaining the Shah's regime. Irrespective of all these undeniable facts,
          the Bahai group have claimed in a report submitted to the Human Rights
          11 Akhbar Amri Magazine (The Official Voice of the National
          Center of Iranian Bahais) - Issue No. 10, 1962 - Page 601.
          
        
          
          S
          - *
          —28-
          Sub-Commission that according to their beliefs, they “Abstain from Partisan
          Politics”. One might ask them to explain the role of Mr. Arnir Abbas Hoveyda,
          also a Bahai who ran the political machine of the Zionist and U.S. supported
          Shah for 13 years, as Prime Minister, against the wishes and aspirations of
          the whole oppressed nation of Iran who were tota11y opposed to the criminal
          Shah. If this is not active politics, then what is it? It is quite amusing that
          in the same report the Bahal's have tried to portray all the Bahais as “gentle t '
          and “peace-loving” and yet every Iranian knows that the Direc±or General
          of SAVAK, the man behind the torture and murder of thousands of
          Iranian people was nobody but fugitive Parviz Sabeti, a wellknown Bahal, now
          living in Israel.
          Undeniable, authentic documents captured by our revolutionary people
          form Savak Headquarters and centres throughout Iran and official confidential
          or secret papers and documents and hundreds of actual authoritative evidence
          prove, all the more, the fact that thecollaboration of the Bahal circles with
          Zionism, has been and still is, a very systematic one.
          The following are a few selected excerpts of the aforementioned
          documents. However, the original copy of all such documents are available
          in the Islamic Republic of Iran 1/Iission and are at the disposal of any interested
          delegations in case a thorough examination of the documents would be desired.
          1. Savak document No. 20-1454, August 1967 reveals that during the
          1967 war of Zionist aggression, millions of dollars were collected by Bahai
          leadership in Iran, and sent directly to Israel in order to help Zionists in
          their aggression. That is why the late President Nasser of Egypt accused them
          of being “Israeli spies”.
          2. Savak document No. H-9864 October 19th, 1968, reveals that how
          high rank army officials who were purposely chosen among Bahais used to
          persecute Moslem officials.
          3. Savak document No. H-6063 March 31st, 1971 shows clearly how the
          Zionist regime regarded the then then Prime Minister of Iran, Amir Ahas
          Hoveida who was a prominent Bahai for his endeavours in helping the Zionist
          regime with cheap oil transactions. According to this document, the Zionest
          government granted Hoveyda a very large piece of land in Palestine as a sign
          of Gratitude for his most friendly policy.
          It is very interesting that Savak writes in Mr. Hoveyda's file “he has
          such and such a land in Israel, etc..
          4. Savak document No. 3 H-20299 November 20th, 1978 shows how Bahais
          were successful in sending millions of dollars tolsrael and being appointed
          to the very important economic and political positions in Iran. One document
          reveals that normally all the financial support of the Zionist regime were
          rendered under the pretext of helping the Bahal shrine which is in Israel.
          5. According to document SD No. 9 in these series, the Bahai leaders
          received secret information on the Iranian amy, their weapons and
          strength, which were not used as religious recitation in Bahai circles, but
          were kindly dispatched to Israel (another non-interference in politics).
          
        
          
          -29-
          6. In Savak Document No. H7-321, one of the Bahai speakers asserts
          “In every Iranian Governmental office, specially military offices, we should
          have a spy in order to collect all necessary information”.
          These are but a very few of the documents selected amongst hundreds of
          others, which clearly and unequivocally show how a very sophisticated and
          systematic espionage network has been established by the Bahais in order to
          deliver all updated information directly to the Israeli authorities.
          Considering the aforementioned facts, and in response to the propaganda
          accuring the Islamic Republic of Iran of the socailed “religious intolerance”,
          the following points may be mentioned:
          1. According to the sacred precepts of Islam, and the Constitution
          of the Islamic Republic of Iran, e.g., Article 29 of the Constitution which
          prohibits inspection of other people's beliefs and prosecution of individuals
          on the ground of their particular set of beliefs, the Government of the
          Islamic Republic of Iran never sentences or punishes any individual on
          the charge of holding a particular ideology or following a particular faith.
          Hence, although the Constitution does not recognise Baha'ism as a religion,
          and therefore Baha'ism lacks any offlcial status in Iran, nevertheless, its
          followers have never been prosecuted, nor punished, merely and and simply
          because of their beliefs. And in principle, being a Baha'i has not been
          considered an offense by the Law, so that the Baha'is may be charged with
          the offense and prosecuted and punished accordingly.
          2. As in most other countries, the Criminal Law of the Islamic
          Republic of Iran regards any activity that is against the national security'and
          .auy conspiracy against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and any involvement in
          espionage for foreign agents, as crimes and therefore liable to punishment.
          If, therefore, individuals are arrested and punished in this respect, their
          pun shment will have no connection with their beliefs, and will be merely a
          consequence of their criminal acts in violation of the Law and against the
          interests of the country. If amongst such coflvicts there happen to be scme
          individuals who are linked to the aforementioned sect, such linkage or belief
          will not alter the quality or quantity of their punishment at all. As the
          highest judicial authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Moussari
          Ardebili stated in his letter to the Secretary- General of the United Nations,
          on 14th September 1981 (this letter has been hirculated as U.N. document
          E!CN.4/Human Rights Subcommission 2/415-E /CN.4f151/6): “The
          Courts of the Islamic Republic of Iran and th procedures which they apply
          are governed by Islamic standards and laws, as well as the Constitution and
          the country's official laws and regulations. nder those same laws, no one
          is to be molested, prosecuted or persecuted dn account of his religious
          beliefs. Anyone who is brought to trial is to!be judged by the lawful
          judicial bodies regardless of this faith and shiall be entitled to all the
          facilities he needs for his, defence, in no circumstances may he be denied
          those rights.”
          A most convincing witness to thin claim is the documents and papers
          available at the relevant courts of justice in Iran, such as the interrogation
          documents, and the confessions made by the accused themselves.
          
        
          
          -30-
          Any person, in whatever profession, with whatever ideology and school
          of thought, regardless of his/her beliefs and thtellectual tendencies, who is in
          any way or manner involved in conspiratorial connections with foreigners,
          or in activities against the system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, will be
          considered criminal by the law.
          Determination of the quality of the crime and the extent of punishment
          is the responsibility of the judicial authorities in the country, who will make
          their decisions in accordance with the text of the law concerned.
          3. It is worth mentioning here that a number of Baha'is, whose general
          or counter-revolutionary crimes have been proven in Islamic Courts of Justice,
          have been granted a share from the bountiful Islamic amnesty and foregive-
          ness. Only a small number of the followers of this belief, who have committed
          serious crimes, all of which have been proven in the court with sufficient
          evidence, thus not leaving any room for amnesty, have been given heavier
          sentences.
          4. If, as alleged by some individuals, the mere pursuit of the said
          belief, were to constitute a crime in itself, no room, nor indeed any
          necessity, would have been left for amnesty or commutation of sentences.
          And the very fact that the accused are tried not because of their beliefs
          but owing to having committed criminal acts, provides the strongest testimony
          and evidence in refutation of such baseless allegations.
          5. Trial of an individual or individuals due, to their particular ideology
          or set of beliefs would be indicative of the weakness and inadequacy of the
          ideology prevailing that society and the revolution thereof; while it is a
          considered opinion that the Islamic ideology is the strongest of ideologies,
          and the beliefs of a few hundred followers of the Bahai t s sect, which has
          no logical and politico-ideological justification, is n t reckoned to be a danger
          to us; and therefore, there will be no need for inspection of their beliefs
          and putting on trial the followers of the said sect simply for holding such
          beliefs.
          6. While it is claimed that tens of thousands of Baha'is are presently
          living in Iran, if the mere pursuit of Baha'is ideology were to constitute a
          crime and accordingly punishable, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, thousands
          of the followers of the sect in question ought to have been punished by now;
          whereas, these very claimers, protesters and jcontroversializers raise the
          question of conviction and punishment of only a few Baha'is and protest against
          it.
          7. In conclusion, a brief account of the cases of some of the accused
          Baha'is, who had been proved guilty in the Court of Justice, but not for
          their beliefs, and whose sentences were commuted for the reasons stated
          hereunder, will be presented below in order for the matter to be made crystal
          clear that not a single person in the Islamic Republic of Iran is tried and
          punished merely'because of his/her particular ideology or set of principles.,
          
        
          
          -31-
          On 11.12.1359 (Iranian Calendar) 2.3.1980) Messers:
          1. Enayatoliah Ehsanian (son of Mohammad);
          2. Ja'far Sha'er-zadeh (son of Mostafa);
          3. Sattar Khosh-Khu (son of All);
          4. Enayatollah Mehdi-zadeh (son of Kheirollah);
          5. Mohammad-Reza Hesami (Fartoosh) son of Amir) were summoned
          to the court for trial.
          Regarding the accused in number one, above for lack of sufficient evidence
          to prove his involvement in campaigns agains t and hostility towards Islam,
          and in acts detrimental tothe Muslims, he wa s released on parole.
          Ja'far Sha T er-zadeh, who was a member of the department of statistics
          and a link between the Shira/circie and the central national circle, and who
          had been ma -:irig trips to Israel and India spreading anti-Islamic propaganda,
          •w is released on parole on the grounds that he suffered from severe
          destitution and therefore, he had done afl that for the remuneration he received
          from its board of trustees.
          The accused in number three, above, who had sent large sums of money
          from the Iranian Muslims treasury to Israel and the BBC Radio and had been
          found gi.iilty, and about whose links with the Zionists and Israel there is riot
          the slightest shadow of doubt, was given a two-year prison sentence and
          dismissal from the university.
          The accused in numbers four and fi' e above, who had committed crimes,
          similar to those of numbers one, two and three above, were also released.
          Only the accused innumber five, who had played an active part in the
          previous regime in crushing the clergy in general and persecution of a
          clergyman named Hojjatol-Islam Fall, in particular, was found guilty by the
          court, and was sented merely to the repayment of the embezzled property,
          as well as his debt of 240,000 Iranian Rials (a pprox. 160 Rials to the
          pound) to the Vahaj Company, and a 20-year compulsory stay in Tehran.
          He was thus reiease from jail.
          As can be observed, these convicts, having committed crimes which would
          hdve provided sufficient grounds for h avy penalties during the time
          of any revolution, have nevertheless been set free or given short term prison
          sentences or sentenced to a repayment of the property plundered by
          themselves, or made to stay for a while in Tehran or in the provinces
          while there remains absolutely no doubt as to aB these individuals being
          Baha'is, particularly in the light of their forthright confession to this effect.
          And therefore, if mere belief in Baha 1 isrn were to have been regarded as a
          punishable crime in Iran, all the abovementioned individuals would have
          been given equal and heavy sentenc .
          
        
          
          -32-
          The representatives of Islamic Republic of Iran have so often explained
          these undeniable facts in Human Rights fora, but despite all these
          sincere efforts, the propagation and repetition of malicious lies and
          groundless accusations about the maltreatment of the followers of other
          religions or doctrines have been continued ty some anti-Islamic entities
          This has no interpretation, but a blatent mi suse of the Human Rights
          fora for definite and weUknown political purposes, which if cdntinued,
          may result in turning such fora into mere means of political pressure in
          the hands of those who do not favour independence and freedom of their
          former cultural and political colonies.
          
        
          
          BAI-IAI INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
          866 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA • NEW YORK, N.Y. 100 I?. U.S.A.
          Cable: aAMAJNTCOM NEWYORK- Telex: 6663,6 BICNY
          (212) 486-0560
          R.epresentative
          to the United Nations -
          Dr Vactot de Araujo
          Aeemtte Representative 13 December 1982
          Mr. Gerald Knight
          DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SITUATION
          OF THE BAHA'IS IN IRAN
          February—December 1982
          The following information concerning violations of the human rights and
          fundamental freedoms of the members of the Baha'i religious minority in
          Iran is submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1982/27.
          Background. Since the inception of the Baha T i Faith in 1844, fanatical
          elements among the fundamentalist Muslim clerg in Iran have agi ated cease-
          lessly for the suppression of a religion they categorize as heretical. As
          a result, the Baha'is have, for over a century, been the most persecuted
          minority in Iran. The Islamic Revolution, which brought to power those very
          elements most bitterly opposed to the Baha'i Faith, signalled the start of a
          massive and blatant campaign of religious persecution which, if unchecked,
          threatens the eradication of the Baha'i religious minority in Iran.
          In pursuit of its goal of eradicating the Baha T i ifiinority and obliterating
          all traces of the Baha'i Faith from the land of its birth, the government
          of Iran has confiscated and/or destroyed all B ha'i community properties
          and holy places in Iran, has summarily executed the leaders of the Baha'i
          community (both national and local) and has brought every kind of pressure
          to bear upon the rank and file of believers (including denial of their funda—
          mental rights and freedoms) in an effort to compel them to recant their faith.
          The background to the situation, and the persecutions suffered by the Baha'i
          community in Iran from the start of the Islamic Revolution to the end of
          January 1982, are more fully described in a report submitted to the Commission
          at its thirty—eighth session. 1/ The following information updates that re-
          port.
          Summary executions . Since January 1982, 19 Baha'is have been summarily
          executed in Iran and two murdered — one shot dead by revolutionary guards
          when he identified himself as a Baha. t i, and one slain by an unknown
          assassin who pinned a note to the body saying that the victim had
          been killed because he was a Baha'i.
          1/ E/CN.4/l517 — Note of the Secretary—Genera,l on the Treatment of the
          Baha'is in Iran, 31 December 1981
          Accredited in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF)
          Associated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)
          
        
          
          —2—
          All the executed Baha'is were prominent believers and seven were members
          of local Baha'i administrative jnstjtutjOflS. Some were executed follow—
          ing trials whose proceedings (if any) have never been reported, and
          their families received no notification of their execution or burial.
          The executions of others (allegedly found guilty on political charges)
          were deferred while intense pressure was put upon them to recant
          their faith. Increasingly, however, all pretence has been dropped
          and, as evidenced by newspaper reports of the court verdicts, 2/,
          Baha'is have been condemned to death on charges related solely to
          their Baha'i activities.
          It was on such charges that five Baha'is were condemned to death by
          the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Shiraz in September 1982. The trial
          judge offered all five 30 minutes in which to recant and go free, but
          all five iinniediately reaffirmed their faith. Two have since been exe-
          cuted (on 16 and 21 November respectively) and the remaining three are
          still in prison under sentence of death.
          Summary arrests . Following repeated waves of summary arrests through-
          out 1982, it is now estimated that at least 200 Baha'is are currently
          being held without charges in Iranian prisons. A large proportion
          were formerly members of local Baha'i administrative institutions.
          Over 70 Baha'is were arrested during a recent series of night raids
          in Shiraz. In view of the recent executions in Shiraz, there are
          grave fears for their safety.
          Intimidation of individual Baha'is continued remorselessly throughout
          1982. Physical intimidatio i was common: hundreds of Baha'is were har—
          rassed,, beaten and driven from their homes because they refused to re-
          cant their faith. In Hisar, Khurasan, the entire Baha'i population
          was forced to leave the town. In Saysan, fifty Baha'is were brutally
          coerced into signing prepared letters of recantation and were forced
          to flee the town when, following their release, they wrote letters
          to the government affirming their faith and protesting the treatment
          they had received.
          Large—scale confiscations of the homes and.posséssions of Baha 'is, the
          freezing of the bank accounts of Baha'is, and dismissals of Baha'is
          from employment also continued unabated throughout 1982. By June 1982,
          all Baha'is employed by the government (including doctors, nurses and
          school teachers) had been dismissed from their jobs, and the pensions
          of all retired Baha'i civil servants had been terminated. In most cases,
          the dismissal or termination notices contained the provision that the
          individual's job or pension would be restored to him if he would pub-
          licly reôant his faith. 3/ The authorities also continued their prac-
          tice of confiscating or denying trading licences to businesses owned
          by and of putting pressure upon non—Baha 'i employers to dis-
          miss their Baha 'i employees.
          2/ Documentation available for inspection — see page 73 of The Baha'is in Iran :
          A Report on the Persecution of a Religious Minority 11 , published by the United
          Nations Office of the Baha'i International Community, first published in June
          1981, revised and updated July 1982.
          3/ Documentation available for inspection — s ee pages 75—79 of the above publica-
          tion.
          
        
          
          —3—
          As a result of these actions by the revolutionary authorities,
          thousands of homeless and destitute Baha'is have been thrown upon
          the mercy of their relatives and friends who are themselves in
          imminent danger of becoming victims of the government t S anti—Baha'i
          campaign.
          Denial of education to increasing numbers of Baha'i children per-
          sisted throughout 1982. Students at all educational levels were
          expelled on the grounds of their religion. 4/ Students were told
          that they would be permitted to remain at their places of education
          if they would agree tO recant their faith. A report was received
          that, during 1981, Baha'i university students had been denied the
          opportunity of taking their final examinations and that some who
          had already taken and passed their examinations had been refused
          their degrees.
          The government of Iran has repeatedly denied that it is engaged in religious
          persecution against the Baha'is — most recen 1y in a document circulated to
          representatives to the Third Committee of the 37th General Assembly. 5/
          In this document, the government of Iran states categorically that no Baha'i
          has been persecuted or punished because of his religious beliefs and that any
          Baha'i sentenced to death has been found guilty of a serious crime, duly
          proven in a court of law. This assertion is contradicted by all the evidence
          emanating from Iran and, most compellingly, by the following facts:
          — condemned Baha'is are given the choice of recanting their faith
          or facing execution;
          — in the very few cases in which Baha'is have recanted, they have
          immediately been released and all charges against them dropped;
          — a number of Baha'is have recently been condemned to death on
          charges related solely to their Baha'i activities.
          To justify its continuing persecution of the entire Baha'i community in Iran,
          the government of Iran, in the same document, has had recourse to the blanket
          accusation that the Baha'i FaIth is not a religion at all but is a political
          organization, actively engaged in international espionage on behalf of the
          government of Israel. The Baha'i International Community categorically denies
          these allegations. 6/
          4/ Documentation available for inspection — see page 74 of “The Baha'is in Iran:
          A Report on the Persecution of a Religious Minority”, published by the United
          Nations Office of the Baha'i International Community, first published in June
          1981, revised and updated July 1982.
          5/ Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran — a review of the facts,
          published by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to
          the United Nations, circulated on 23 November 1982
          6/ Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations made against the Baha'i Faith by
          the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United
          Nations, published by Baha'i International Community, 30 November 1982
          
        
          
          kG
          —4—
          The tenets of the Baha'i Faith prohibit its followers from becoming involved
          in politics or from holding any political post. Likewise, Baha t is are for-
          bidden to participate in any form of subversive activity and are obliged to
          show loyalty and obedience to the government of the country in which they
          live, whatever its form or policies.
          The alleged connection between the Baha'i Faith and Israel rests upon the
          fact that the Baha'i world Centre is in Isra l (although it is there by
          historical accident and was established in 1868, long before the State of
          Israel came into existence) and that Baha'is; the world over send contribu-
          tions to their World Centre for the maintenar ce of their holy places in
          Israel (although the followers of other re1i ions — including Islam — send
          contributions for the upkeep of their otcn holy places in Israel without
          being accused by the Iranian government of being supporters of Zionism).
          These charges, and other accusations frequently levelled against the Baha'is
          by the government of Iran, are more fully detailed, explained and refuted in
          the report submitted to the Commission at its thirty—eighth session. 7/
          Since that report was considered, the situation of the Baha'is in Iran has
          steadily deteriorated. Recent developments indicate that the government of
          Iran has no intention either of admitting that the persecution of the Bahatis
          is inspired by primitive religious fanaticism, or of putting an end to its
          relentless persecution of an innocent and defenceless minority.
          7/ E/CN.4/15l7 — Note of the Secretary—General on the Treatment of the Baha'is
          in Iran, 31 December 1981
          
        
          
          BAHAf INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
          886 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA • NEW YORK, N.Y. 100 17. U.S.A.
          Cable: BAISAINTCOM NEWYORK- Telex: 666363 BICNY
          (212) 486-0560
          Representative 10 December 1982
          to the United Nations
          Dr. Victor de Aesujo
          A?cemste Representative
          Mr. Gerald Knight
          Summary of'
          STATE1 NT IN REBUTTAL
          OF ACCUSATIONS MADE AGAINST THE BAH 'I FAITH BY THE
          PERMANENT MISSION OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
          General Assembly, 37th session, November 1982
          In a document 1/ circulated to representatives to the Third. Committee of the
          37th session of the General Assembly on 23 November 1982, the Is]a?nic Republic
          of Iran made a number of false and damaging statements concerning the nature
          of the Bahá t i Faith and the activities of its followers. The Bah t Inter—
          natione l Community has published a detailed refutation of these false state-
          ments 2/, of' which the following are the main points.
          The report alleges that the Bah tI Faith is a political entity “created and
          nourished by anti-Islamic and colonial powers” and that the Bah . t community
          has established “a very sophisticated and systema tic espionage network”.
          The Bah 'I International Community categorically denies these allegations.
          The Bah 'I Faith is an independent world religion and its followers are for-
          bidden, by the laws of their faith, from becoming involved in partisan
          politics or in any form of subversive activity.
          The activities of Bahg.'I communities in every part of the world are open to
          scrutiny and, in view of the serious nature of the charges made by the
          government of Iran, the Bahá'i International Community invites the estab-
          lishment of an impartial body of inquiry to mount a thorough investigation
          into Bah .tI activities.
          1/ “Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran — a review of the facts”,
          published by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to
          the United. Nations, Circulated in the Third Committee of' the General
          Assembly on 23 November 1982.
          2/ “Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations Made against tie Bah 'I Faith ‘by
          the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United
          Nations”, published by the Bah t i International Community, 30 November
          1982.
          -1—
          Accredited in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
          Associated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)
          
        
          
          —2—
          All the allegations made against the Bah .'is in Iran are based on deliberate
          misinterpretations of the aims and purposes of the Bah 'I Faith and its
          teachings. The most common charges are repeated in Iran's new report, which
          accuses BahgjIs of:
          (a) being political supporters of the late Shah;
          (b) being a political organization opposed to the present Iranian
          government;
          (c) collaborating with SAV.AK;
          (d) being enemies of Islam;
          (e) being agents of Zionism.
          All these charges have been exolained and refuted by the Bah . 'I International
          Community in its publications 3/. The new charges contained in Iran's latest
          report can be answered as follows:
          The report alleges that ‘Abdu'l—Bah ., the son of the Founder of the Bah 'I
          Faith, was an agent of the British government in Palestine during World War I
          and that he was protected, financially rewarded and knighted by the British
          government in recognition of his services. The report quotes the names of
          sever 1 prominent Britons associated with ‘Abdu'l—Bahâ as evidence of his
          clandestine connections with the British.
          The facts : ‘Abdu'I Bah never received money from the British government and
          the knighthood conferred upon him was in recognition of his humanitarian
          services to the poor and needy in Palestine during World War I. The inter-
          venti n of the British government to protect his life was inspired by and in
          response to appeals from the British Bah 'Is, who had learned that the
          Turkish commander, Jamal Pasha, had publicly vowed to crucify ‘Abdu'l Bahg.
          and his family on Mount Carmel. During his years in the Holy Land,
          ‘Abdu'l-Lah was in contact not only with prorninent Britons but also with
          eminent personalities, scholars and leaders i i many parts of Europe and
          the Middle East. His funeral was attended noE only by the Britishof-
          ficials named in the report but also by the chiefs of the Muslim, Christian,
          Jewish and other religious communities in the Holy Land, and by notables
          from all strata of Palestinian society.
          The report alleges that the Faith was used by the British and French
          governments as a tool for colonial expansion, and that invitations to Bahá'Is
          to “spend a while in India” and to teach their faith in North Africa provide
          proof of this.
          The facts : Both these incidents are taken from Bahá 'I books and ouoted out
          of context. In the first, the British Consul -General in Baghdad offered
          humanitarian aid and residence in India to the persecuted and imprisoned
          Founder of the Bahá'I Faith. Bah 'u'll -h declined these offers and chose to
          remain a prisoner in Baghdad. In the second case, ‘A'bdu'l—Bahg. mentioned
          in a letter to one of his followers that the French ambassador in Teheran
          (who greatly admired the Bah 'I teachings) had suggested that Bah ' s might
          go to Tunisia and teach their faith there. To suggest that either of these
          3/ “The Bah 'Is in Iran: A Report on the Per secution of a Religious Minority”,
          published by the United Nations Office of the Bah 'I International Community,
          first published in June 1981, revised and ipdated July 1982.
          
        
          
          —3—
          incidents provides evidence of political collusion between the Bah I Faith and
          the colonial powers is clearly ridiculous.
          The renort a1leg that, despite the laws of their faith forbidding involvement
          in partisan politics or the holding of any political post, certain Bah ' s held
          high political office during the reign of the late Shah.
          The facts : During the reign of the Shah, it was common for unscrupulous politi-
          cians to attempt to discredit their political opponents by accusing them of being
          Bahg.' s. Of the eight persons named in the report, six were never Bah Is and
          never claimed to be. The seventh had once been a Bah 'i but was expelled from
          the Bah ' community when he accepted ministerial office in the government of the
          Shah. The eighth, who was indeed a Eah .' , served in the non—political position
          of personal physician to the late Shah.
          The report alleges that ah )Is are agents and p litical supporters of Zionism,
          and that the Bahg.'I community financially supports the Israeli government.
          The facts : The presence of the Bah 'I World Cen re in Israel, and the absence of
          any connection between the Bah 'I Faith and Zionism, are fully explained in other
          documents, a ailable for reference 147. Funds se±it Dy Bahát s the w id over to
          the Bahg.'I World Centre are used exclusively for the maintenance of their holy
          shrines and historic sites and for the administration of their faith, just as
          funds are sent by Christians and Muslims around the world for the upkeep of their
          holy places in the Holy Land.
          The report alleges that various documents purportedly extracted from the files of
          SAVAK, and summarized in the report, prove the involvement of Bahá'Is in a variety
          of anti—Islamic activities.
          It is impossible for the Bah I International Community to comment upon documents
          it has not seen. It might be asked, however, how and why—-since the present Iran-
          ian government has itself discredited SAVAK--the documentation produced by this
          organization has suddenly become relevant and “authentic” where Bahg.'Is are con-
          cerned? The hostility of SAVAK towards the Bah 'I community, and the collabora-
          tion between SAVAK and fanatical anti-Bahá.'I organizations, are well documented. 5/
          The report alleges that certain Bah 'Is charged with a variety of offences were
          given very lenient sentences or were released, and quotes names and details.
          The facts : The summary trials re 'erred to took lace in Shiraz in February 1980.
          Of the four Bah 'Is reportedly released, two are still in prison, and the fifth——
          reportedly sentenced t two years in prison——was suxnmarily executed in Shiraz on
          30 April 1981.
          )4/ E/CN. 1 4/1517 — Note by the Secretary—General on the treatment of the Bahg.'Is
          in Iran, 31 December 1981.
          “The Eahá'Is in Iran: A Report on the Persecution of a Religious ilinority”
          published by the United Nations Office of the Bah 'I International Community,
          first published in June 1981, revised and updated July 1982
          5/ ibid .
          
        
          
          -‘k—
          The report alleges (and the cases quoted abcve are intended to support this
          allegation) that no Bahá'I has been prosecuted or punished simrly because of
          his religion, and that any Bah '1 who has suffered death or imprisonment
          has been guilty of a criminal offence, duly oroven in a court of law.
          The facts : This argument does not explain the pervasive and ccntinuing per-
          secution of the entire Bahá'I community in :ran. It ignores the fact that no
          evidence has ever been adduced to surport any of the charges brought against
          those Eahá)Is who were executed, and also ignores the fact that, in the very
          few cases in which aBah Ihas been willing to recant his faith, he has immed-
          iately been released and all charges against him .ropoed — while his fellow
          believers who refused to recant have been executed. The argument does not
          explain the disappearance, following their arrest, of all nine members of the
          national governing body of the Bahg' Faith in Iran, nor the secret execution
          in Teheran (initially denied by the authorities) of eight of their successors.
          Furthermore, the argument that there is no large-scale persecution of the Bahá'I
          comunity on religious grounds is singularly unconvincing in the light of the
          fact that all Bahg ,'I community properties and holy places in Iran have been con-
          fiscated and/or destroyed, and that thousands of innocent Bah Is have been de-
          prived of their fundamental human rights in a variety of dehumanizing ways,
          including dismissal from employment, denial of pensions, confiscation of private
          property and denial of education to children.
          Details of the persecution of the Bah .'I community by the government of Iran,
          fully supported by documentary evidence from Ira , are on record and are avail-
          able for reference. 6/
          Despite the repeated denials of the Iranian government, it is clear that the
          persecutionaf ‘the Bah t 1s is based solely upon their religious beliefs. It
          is equally clear that the allegations contained in the November 1982 report
          circulated by Iran represent an attempt to conceal, and to divert international
          attention from, the fanatically religious m:tivation cf the rersecut.ion of the
          Bah 'Is of Iran, and to undermine the good reputation which the Bah 'I community
          enjoys throughout the world.
          The Bah .' International Community emphatically refutes all the charges levelled
          against the Bah 'Is by the Iranian government and. strongly appeals for the estab-
          lishment of an independent body to investigate t e er ire situation.
          6/ E/CN. 4/15l7 — Note by the Secretary—General on the treatment of the Bah ' s
          in Iran, 31 December 1981.
          “The Bahá'Is in Iran: A Peport on the Persecution of a Religious Minority”
          published by the United Nations Office cf the Bah 'I International Community,
          first published in June 1981, revised and undated July 1962
          
        
          
          BAHA1 INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
          S80 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA • NEW YOR}<, N.Y. 10017. U.S.A.
          Cable: BANA!NTCOM EWYORK- Tdex: 6& 363 BICNY
          (212) 4S6-O5&
          Repre entar ive
          to the Unittd Nations
          Dr. Victor dc Arau o
          Alternate Representative
          Mr. Gerald Knight
          14 December 1982
          Mr. Kurt Herndl
          Director, Centre for Human Rights
          Dear Mr. Herndl,
          In a document circulated to representatives to he Third Committee of the 37th
          session of the General Assembly on 23 November 1982, the Islamic Republic of
          Iran. made a number of false and damaging statements concerning the nature of
          the Bahg'I Faith and the activities of its follOwers. The Bahá'I Internation-
          al Community has published a detailed refutation of these false statements in
          a document entitled “Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations made against the
          Bahá'i Faith by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the
          United Nations” 30 November 1982, a copy of whi h is enclosed together with
          relevant parts of the Iranian document.
          Since this document is in excess of 1500 words, we have prepared and enclose a
          1500—word summary of this statement. We would be grateful if, pursuant to
          ECOSOC resolution 1296 (XLIV), this summary could be circulated as a written
          statement of the 39th session of the Commission on Human Rights.
          Yours sincerely,
          Gerald Knight
          GK:inep
          enclosures: 1. “Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations made Against the Bahã'I
          Faith by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran
          to the United Nations, General Assembly, 37th session,
          November 1982”
          2. Excerpts from “Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran —
          a review of the facts” circulated in the Third Committee of
          the General Assembly by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic
          Republic of Iran.
          3. “Summary of Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations made against
          the Bah 'I Faith by the Pernanent Mission of the Islamic Re-
          public of Iran to the United Nations, General Assembly, 37th
          session, November 1982” dated 10 December 1982.
          4. “The Bahá'Is in Iran: A Report on the Persecution of a Reli-
          gious Minority”, revised and updated edition, 1982.
          Accredited in consultatjv status with the United Na ions Economic and Social Coancil (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children, Fund (UNICEF)
          Associated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP and th L°ni4d N oions Department of Public Information (DP1I
          
        
          
          - I
          BAHA1 INTERNATIONAL COMMIUNITY
          See UNITED NATIONS PLAZA • NEW YORK, N. V. 100l7.U.S.A.
          Cable: BAMAXNTCOM NEWYORK - Telex: 666363 BICNY
          (212) 486-0 )60
          Representative
          to the United Nations
          Dr. Victor de Araujo
          Alternate Representative
          Mr. Geraid Knight
          14 December 1982
          Mr. Kurt Herndl
          Director, Centre for Human Rights
          Dear Mr. Herndl,
          Since the adoption of resolution 1982/27 on the human rights situation in Iran
          by the Commission on Human Rights we have, as you may know, kept Mr. Buffum's
          office regularly informed of the situation of the members of the Bahá'i Faith
          in Iran. Letters were addressed to Mr. Buffum's office dated 27 January 1982,
          12 February 1982, 26 May 1982, 16 August 1982, 24 November 1982, 3 December
          1982, 6 December 1982 and 7 December 1982. The information contained in these
          letters has been included in the document listed as enclosure no. .
          It is in the hope that it may be useful to the Centre in connection with the
          implementation of the above resolution, particularly in the preparation of the
          report called for in operative paragraph no. 4, that we now enclose for your
          information the following items:
          1. A document entitled “Developments in the Situation of the Bahá'Is in
          Iran, February — December 1982” -— pr pared to update the informa—
          tion contained in Commission document E/CN.4/1517, Note by the
          Secretary—General entitled “Treatment of the Bahi'is in Iran”.
          2. Document entitled “References made to human rights violations in
          Iran at the 38th session of the United Nations Commission on Human
          Rights”, which includes the full texts of statements made by the
          Bahi'I International Community on agenda items 20 and 12.
          3. A document entitled “Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran —
          a review of the facts” circulated to the Third Committee of the 37th
          General Assembly by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic
          of Iran to the United Nations.
          4. A document entitled “Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations made
          against the Bahi'i Faith by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic
          Republic of Iran to the United Nations, General Assembly, 37th
          session, November. 1982” dated 30 November 1982.
          5. A document entitled “Summary of Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations
          made against the Bahi'I Faith by the Permanent Mission of the
          Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations”. This document is
          a 1500—word summary of the statement in no. 4 above.
          Accredited in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Childrens Fund WNICEF)
          Associated with the United Nations Environment Programme ILNEP) and th United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)
          
        
          
          Mr. Kurt Herndl Page 2
          14 December 1982
          This summary is also being sent with a separate covering letter to
          the Centre for Human Rights for circuiation at the Commission on
          Human Rights pursuant to ECOSOC reso1 tion 1296.
          6. A document entitled “The Bah 'is in Iran: A Report on the Persecu-
          tion of a Religious Minority”, revised and updated edition, July
          1982. We would like to draw your attention in particular to
          Appendix 4, pages 71 — 80, which contains a number of official pub—
          lications from various government departments in Iran, together with
          court verdicts relating to Bahá'is published in Iranian media.
          These items testify to official discrimination against the Bahá'is
          in Iran. Copies of the actual documents reproduced here are avail—
          able for inspection if required.
          We hope that the above materials are helpful in the preparation of the report
          called for in resolution 1982/27.
          Yours sincerely,
          Gerald Knight
          OK: mep
          enclosures
          
        
          
          I
          *
          BAHA1 INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
          868 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA • NEW YORK, N.Y. 100 17. U.S.A.
          Cable: BA1IAJNTCOM NEWYORK - Telex: 666363 BICNY
          (212) 486-0560
          Representative
          to the United Nations 30 November 1982
          Dr. Victor de Araujo
          Alternate Representative
          Mr. Gerald Knight
          STATEMENT IN REBUTTAL
          OF ACCUSATIONS MADE AGAINST THE BAHA'I FAITH BY THE
          PERMANENT MISSION OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
          General Assembly, 37th session, November 1982
          In a document entitled “Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran - a
          review of the facts” circulated to representatives to the Third Committee
          of the 37th session of the General Assembly at JUnited Nations Headquarters
          on 23 November 1982, the delegation of the Islánic Republic of Iran made
          a number of false and damaging statements concerning the nature of the
          Bah 'i Faith and the activities of its followers. The Bah 'I International
          Community wishes to refute these false statements and to present the true
          facts.
          (For ease of reference, copies of the relevant pages of Iran's report are
          attached).
          1. The Bahá'i Faith is accused of being “a political entity created and
          nourished by anti-Islamic and Colonial Powers” (see page 27 paragraph 3
          of the report). Reference is made to “the BaM'i espionage network”
          (p.3. para 2) and it is alleged that “a very scphisticated and systematic
          espionage network has been established by the 1 ahä'.!s” (p. 2 9 pare 2).
          Other references of a similar nature appear el. ewhere in the report.
          The BaM'I International Community categorically denies these allegations.
          Participation in partisan politics, and involvement in any form of sub-
          versive activity, are both totally forbidden to Bahá'Is in accordance
          ith the most fundamental principles of their faith.
          • Bah 'I communities exist in countries throughout the world and their acti-
          vities are known to the governments of these countries to be non—political,
          non-partisan and peaceful.
          The activities of BaM'I communities in every part of the world are open
          to scrutiny and, in view of the serious nature of the charges made by the
          Iranian government in this world forum, the Bahá'i International Community
          invites the establishment of an impartial body I of inquiry to mount a
          thorough investigation into the activities of the Bahá'i world community.
          —l —
          Accredited its consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNJCEF)
          Associated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)
          
        
          
          -2—
          2. All the allegations made against the Bahá'Is in Iran are based on deliberate
          misinterpretations of the aims and purposes of the Bahá'I Faith and its
          teachings. The most common charges levelled against the Bahá'Is - and
          repeated in Iran's new report — are as follows:
          1. Baha' s are accused of being political supporters of the late
          Shah and of having benefited from the former regime.
          2. Bah 'is are accused of being a political organization opposed
          to the present Iranian government.
          3. Bah is are accused of collaboration with SAVAK.
          4. Baha'is are accused of being enernies of Islam.
          5. Bahá'Is are accused of being agents f Zionism.
          All these allegations are explained and convincingly refuted in the BaM'I
          International Community's publication “The Bah 'Is in Iran: A Report on
          the Persecution of a Religious Minority”, revised and updated July 1982,
          pages 19 to 24.
          The new and/or very specific allegations contained in Iran's latest report
          can be answered as follows:
          3. It is alleged that the son of the Founder of the Bahá'I Faith was an agent
          of the British government, engaged in “covert activities against the
          Ottoman Ernpi:Ce” in Palestine; that, during World War I, he was “highly
          successful to render great services for the British army”, including sup-
          plying the army with “large supplies of food and grains which he had
          secretly been storing”, and that the British abthorities protected his
          life and gave him “huge amounts of gold” and al knighthood as a reward for
          his espionage activities. (See pages 24 and 25 of the report).
          These alleged “facts” are gross distortions of the truth.
          ‘Abdu'l-Bah (also known as Abbas Effendi), the son of the Founder of the
          ah 'I Faith, was not a British spy. The knighthood conferred upon him
          by the British government in 1920 was in recognition of his humanitarian
          services to the poor and needy in Palestine during World War I. To por-
          tray these humanitarian services as calculated political acts is totally
          unjustified. Although ‘Abdu'1-Bah accepted the knighthood, he never
          used the title, and he never received any financial aid, much less “huge
          amounts of gold” (p.25 para 6), from the British government.
          The intervention of the British government in 1918 to protect the life
          of ‘Abdu'1-Bah had nothing whatsoever to do with any supposed covert
          association between that government and ‘Abdu'1-Bah . It was inspired
          by, and in response to, urgent requests from the British BaM'Is, who
          
        
          
          I
          —3—
          were gravely concerned about the safety of the leader of their faith - just
          as Bahâ'Is in the free world today appeal to their governments, expressing
          concern about the safety of their fe1low-beli vers in Iran.
          The concern of the British Bah . s arose from the fact that the leader of
          the advancing Turkish forces, Jamal Pasha (a fanatical and long—standing
          enemy of the Bah '1 Faith) had publicly declared his intention of crucify-
          ing Abdu'l-Bah and his family on the slopes of Mount Carmel. The
          British authorities (including those named in the report, p.24 para 3)
          responded sympathetically to the appeals cf the Bah iIs and alerted the
          Commander of their forces in Palestine to the potential danger. Having
          entered Haifa, General Allenby duly cabled a confirmation to London that
          Abdunl_Bah and his family were safe.
          In order to reinforce the argument that some clandestine connection ex-
          isted between the British government and ‘Abdu'l—Bahâ, the report (pages
          24 to 26) cites the names of many prominent Britons. It should be empha-
          sized, however, that, during his years in the Holy Land, ‘Abdu'l-Bah&
          was in contact with prominent personalities in many countries (among them
          such eminent figure3 as Dr. Auguste Porel of Switzerland, Leo Tolstoy of
          Russia, Professor Aririinius Vambery of Hungary, Prince Muhanunad-Ali Pasha
          of Egypt); with scholars and leaders in Lebanon and other middle—eastern
          countries; and with such institutions as the Central Organization for a
          Durable Peace, in the Netherlands.
          Similarly, while the report (p.26 para 1) names the two British officials
          who attended t duIl•Bah Ts funeral, it omits to mention that, in recog-
          nition of his high and unique position, the chiefs of the Muslim, Christian,
          Jewish and other religious communities in the Holy Land, as well as nota-
          bles from all strata of Palestinian society, were also present at the
          obsequies.
          4. It is alleged that the Bah '1 Faith was used by the colonial powers as a
          tool for colonial expansion into Muslim countries.
          This is a complete fabrication,unsubstantiated even by the “evidence”
          dduced in its support. The report (p.26 para:5) accurately refers to
          a passage in the Bah 1 book “God Passes By”, recording that the leader
          of the Bah ‘.i Faith was invited to “spend a while in India”, but omits to
          cite either the circwnstances of the invitation or the response to it —
          both of which are detailed in the sane passage.
          At the time of the invitation, news of the martyrdom of the B&b (the Pro-
          phet-Herald of the BaM'r Faith) and the massacre of 20,000 of His fol-
          lowers had spread to the west and had aroused much sympathy and interest
          among Europeans. BaM'u'll h, the most prominent follower of the B6b
          (who had not yet declared His own mission) was exiled by the Iranian gov-
          ernment and imprisoned in Baghdad. His plight attracted the sympathetic
          attention of the British consul-general in Baghdad, who offered Him the
          
        
          
          -4-
          protection of British citizenship and also offered to arrange residence for
          Him in India or in any other place agreeable tp Him. Bah 'u'llSh declined
          these offers and chose instead to remain a prisoner in Baghdad.
          It was not unusual at that time, nor is it unusual today, for government
          officials to offer aid and sanctuary to those they perceive as being the
          victims of oppression in other countries. This kind of intervention is
          commonly recognized as being humanitarian and non-political in nature.
          The attempt to portray the humanitarian assistance offered to BaM'u'll h
          as being part of a sinister project of colonial expansion is clearly
          ridiculous.
          The reference (allegedly drawn from the same book, but actually to be found
          in a letter written by ‘Abdu'l-Bah to an individual Bah '1) to the “anxiety”
          of the government of France to send Bahá'Is to' the French colonies in Muslim
          Africa is likewise taken out of context and is deliberately misleading.
          The true facts are that the French Ambassador in Teheran, greatly impressed
          by the Bah 'i teachings and by their effect upon the people who embraced
          them, suggested that Bah 'Is might go to Tunisia and teach their faith there.
          ‘Abdu'l-BaM duly mentioned this suggestion in a letter to one of his fol-
          lowers but, as it happened, nothing ever came of it. Clearly, this incident
          cannot seriously be used to suggest, or prove, any form of collusion between
          the Bah 'I Faith and the French government to promote colonial expansion in
          Africa.
          5. Certain BaM'is are alleged to have held high political office during the
          reign of the late Shah.
          Bah 'Is are forbidden by the laws of their faith from becoming involved in
          partisan politics or from holding any political post. The report (pp 27/28)
          accuses the Iranian Bahá'Is of not adhering to this principle of their
          faith, alleging that certain people identified. as BaM'Is held prominent
          political positions during the reign of the late Shah. These accusations
          are refuted below.
          It should be noted in this connection that, during the reign of the Shah,
          it was common for unscrupulous politicians to attempt to discredit their
          political opponents by accusing them of being BaM'Is. Such accusations
          were either entirely without foundation or werr based upon the fact that
          the fathers or families of the individuals concerned had once been Bah 'fs.
          It is, however, a basic principle of the BahS'I religion that the gift of
          faith springs from the free choice of the individual and cannot be auto-
          matically and blindly inherited from an earlier generation. A person is
          a BaM 'I only when he freely declares himself to be a BaM'I.
          It is true that Dr. Ayadi, a Babl'I, served as personal physician to the
          late Shah. He was appointed to this non-political position not only be-
          cause of his skill in medicine but also because of his personal integrity
          and trustworthiness. It is untrue to state (as does the report) that he
          was “the man behind the whole pharmaceutical m rket”.
          
        
          
          —5—
          General Khattani, Commander of the Air Force, Mrs. Parse, Minister of Edu-
          cation, and General Nasiri, Head of SAVAK, were never Bahá'Is and never
          claimed to be Bah 'Is.
          General Sani'i, Minister of War, was once a Bahá'I but was expelled from
          the Bahá'I community when he accepted ministerial office in the government -
          in accordance with the Bah 'I law forbidding Bahá'Is to hold political
          office.
          Parviz Sebeti, Director—General of SAVAK, Mansur Ruhani, Minister of Agri-
          culture, and Prime Minister Amir Abbas Hoveida were never BaM'Is and never
          claimed to be Bah 'Is. Their alleged membership in the Bah 'I community
          was based on the fact that their fathers were, or had once been, Bah 'Is.
          6. Baha'Is are accused of being agents and pOlitical supporters of Zionism.
          The report (p.27 pare 1) cites the well-worn accusation that, since the
          Bahá'I World Centre is in Israel, the Bahä'i Faith must in some way be
          identified with Zionism, and also asserts that this means that the Baná'I
          Faith is not a religion but is a “political entity created and nourished
          by anti-Islamic and Colonial Powers.”
          The Bah 'I World Centre was established in the last century, long before
          the State of Israel caine into existence, and has nothing to do with Zionism.
          The Founder of the BaM'I Faith, Bah u 'l1 h, was exiled to the Holy Land
          in compliance with the order of two Islamic góernments (Iran and Turkey).
          He remained in the Holy Land until His death i 1892, His Shrine was raised
          there, and the Holy Land thus became the world spiritual centre of the
          Bah 'I Faith. Bah 'u'll h Himself directed th'at the world spiritual and
          administrative centres of His faith must always be united in one locality.
          Accordingly, the world administrative centre of the BaM'I Faith has al-
          ways been and must continue to be in the Holy Land. It cannot be relo-
          cated for the sake of temporary political expediency.
          References are made later in the report (p.28 paras 4 and 8) to the Bah 'Is
          sending “millions of dollars” to Israel to “support the Zionist regime”.
          This allegation is entirely without foundation. The funds sent by BaM'rs
          the world over (including those in Iran) to tlie BaM'I World Centre are
          solely and exclusively for the upkeep of thei holy Shrines and historic
          sites in the Holy Land, and for the administration of their faith.
          It should be. noted that other religious communities contribute towards
          the maintenance of their holy places in Israel without attracting the
          charge that they are financially supporting the government of Israel.
          Similarly, the Shiite Muslims send financial contributions towards the
          upkeep of their holy places at Najaf and Karbila in Iraq. Should the
          fact that Iran and Iraq are at war suddenly draw down the charge upon
          the Muslim Iranians that they have lent financial aid to the Iraqi govern-
          ment? Yet this is precisely the nature of the spurious allegation being
          made by the Iranian government against the Bah 'Is.
          
        
          
          —6—
          7. SAVAK documents adduced to support allegations against Bahá 'is.
          The report (pp.28/ 29 ) summarizes the contents of various documents alleg-
          edly extracted from the files of SAVAK, which purport to implicate BahS. 'Is
          (or alleged Bah 'Is) in a variety of anti-Islamic activities.
          It is impossible for the BaM'i International Community to comment upon
          these documents because it has not seen them. It might, however, be asked
          how and why - since the present Iranian governr tent has itself discredited
          SAVAK — the documentation produced by this orga,nization has suddenly be-
          come relevant and “authentic” where Bah is. ar concerned?
          The hostility of SAVAK towards the Bah 'Is is well attested. A SAVAK
          memorandum linking the bureau with the operations of the fanatical anti-
          Bahá'I organization Tablighat-i-ISlami was published in the Iranian daily
          newspaper Mujahid on 9 June 1980, and one of the final acts of SAVAK in
          1978, shortly before the fall of the Shah, was to attempt to divert pub-
          lic attention away from disaffection with the regime by mounting violent
          attacks on the BaM'Is. During raids organized by SAVAK on Saadi village
          near Shiraz, 150 Bah 'i homes were looted and burned down. The Bah 'i
          International Community has in its possession an announcement by jatol1ah
          Mahallati, the most prominent religious leader in Shiraz, telling Muslims
          that such attacks against the Bah 'Is were the machinations of SAVAK, and
          warning them not to participate.
          8. Specific cases of accused Bah fs.
          The report cites the cases of five Bahá'is, tr4ed in February 1980, who
          were “proven guilty in the Court of Justice” but whose sentences were
          commuted (p.31).
          These trials actually took place in Shiraz, under very questionable cir-
          cumstances, and the BaM'I International Community cannot comment upon
          the veracity of the evidence or charges. We do, however, have reliable
          and up-to-date information concerning the fate of these Bahá'Is.
          1. Enayatollah Ehsanian — stated in the report to have been released
          for lack of evidence against him. True.
          2. Ja far Sha'er—zadeh — stated in the report to have been released on
          compassionate grounds. He was, in fact, re—arrested approximately
          one month ago and is currently in detention in Shiraz.
          3. Sattar Khosh-Khu - stated in the report to have been found guilty
          of supporting Zionism and to have been given a two—year prison
          sentence. He was, in fact, summarily executed in Shiraz on 30
          April 1981 (approximately 14 months after his trial).
          4. Enayatollah Mehdi-zadeh - stated in the report to have been relea-
          sed. He was actually released after sper ding ten months in prison.
          
        
          
          —7—
          5. Mohamrnad-Reza Hesami — stated in the report to have been fined and re-
          leased. He is, in fact, still in prison and has not at any time been
          released.
          The stated purpose of including these details in the report was to make it
          “crystal clear” that “not a single person in the Islamic Republic of Iran
          is tried and punished merely because of his/her particular ideology or set
          of principles.” (p.30 para 7).
          Even if it were to be assumed, for the sake of argument, that the details
          of the cases cited in the report were true, it is difficult to see how
          isolated cases such as these could justify the pervasive and continuing
          persecution of the entire Bah i community of Iran.
          Despite the repeated denials of the Iranian government, it is clear that
          the persecution of the Bahá'Is is based solely upon their religious beliefs.
          Duringthe past four years, one hundred and eighteen BaM'Is have died for
          their faith in Iran. No evidence exists to support any of the charges
          brought against those who were executed. In the very few cases in which
          a Bah 'I has been willing to recant his faith, he has immediately been re-
          leased and all charges against him dropped while his fellow believers
          who refused to recant have been executed.
          Two Bah 'Is very recently executed in Shiraz - Mr. Habibu'llah Awji on
          16 November and Mr. Ziya'u'llah Ahrari on 21 November — were offered their
          freedom by the trial judge if they would agree to recant their religion.
          In the ease of Mr. Ahrari, the court verdict — published in the Teheran
          daily newspaper Kayhan on 22 November - clearly stated that the principal
          charge against him was his membership in the Bah 'I community.
          Membership in the Bah 'i community was first recognized by the courts as a
          capital offence in March 1981, when Mr. Mihdi Anvari and Mr. Hidayatu'llah
          Dihqani were tried and executed in Shiraz. In the case of Mr. ‘Azizu'llah
          Guishani, executed by hanging on 29 April 1982, the charges against him
          related solely to his Bah 'I activities. (These charges were detailed in
          Kayhan on 29 April 1982). 1
          All the Bahá'Is executed during the past two y ars were prominent believ-
          ers whose executions were intended to intimidate the rank and file of
          the Bah 'f community into recanting their faith. Most compelling is the
          fact that the authorities have twice eliminated the membership of the
          national governing body of the BaM'I Faith in Iran. On 21 August 1980,
          all nine members of this body were arrested by revolutionary guards and
          have since disappeared without trace. On 27 December 1981, eight members
          of the national governing body that replaced them were secretly executed
          in Teheran. Their execution, initially denied by the authorities, was
          finally admitted by the President of the Supreme Court of Iran, Ayatollah
          Musavi Ardibili, at a press conference on 5 January 1982.
          
        
          
          *
          *
          —8—
          The executions and disappearances are part of a systematic campaign to era-
          dicate the Iranian BaM'I community and obliterate all traces of the BaM'I
          Faith from Iran.
          The other elements of the campaign are the confiscation and destruction of
          all BaM'f community properties and holy places in Iran (now accomplished)
          and the denial of the most basic human rights to thousands upon thousands
          of innocent BahátIs. This denial has been expressed in many dehumanizing
          ways, such as dismissal from employment, denial of pensions, confiscation
          of private property and denial of schooling to children. (An article in
          the newspaper Kayhan on 25 November 1981 reported the expulsion of 43 stu-
          dents from the University of Shiraz because of their membership in the
          “misguided Bah 'I group”).
          Many of the notices dismissing BaM'Is from th ir jobs. have clearly stated
          that membership in the Bah 'i coxrm unity is the reason for the dismissal,
          and many of the notices have stated that the individual concerned will be
          given back his job if he will publicly recant his faith. In a communique
          published in Kayhan on 8 December 1981, the Ministry of Labour stated that
          dismissal for life from grverninent service had been decreed by the Islamic
          Parliament as “the punishment for anyone who is a member of the misguided
          BaM'I group”.
          It is clear to the Bah 'I International Community that the allegations
          contained in the report circulated by Iran in the General Assembly repre-
          sent an attempt to conceal, and to divert international attention from,
          the fanatically religious motivation of the persecution of the Bah 'Is of
          Iran, and to undermine the good reputation which the Bahá'i community enjoys
          throughout the world.
          The Bahá'I International Community emphatically refutes all the charges
          levelled against the Bahá'Isby the Iranian government and its spokesmen,
          most particularly the charges of political involvement and espionage,
          and strongly appeals for the establishment of an independent body to
          investigate the entire situation.
          
        
          
          BAHAI INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
          886 UNITED NATIONS PLAZA • NEW YORK, N.Y. IOOI7.U.S.A.
          Cable: BAEAD T M , avyou - Telex: 666 63 BIO 4Y
          (212) 486-060
          R prescnta ve 10 December 1982
          to the United Nations
          Dr. Victor & Arau 1 o
          Aftctn,te R.eprc cnraeivc
          Mr. Gctxld Knight
          Srnni ry of
          STAT NT IN REBUTTAL
          OF ACCUSATIONS MADE AGAINST THE BABA'I FAITH BY THE
          PEPMANENT MISSION OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
          General Assembly, 37th session, November 1982
          In a document 1/ circulated to representatives to the Third Committee of the
          37th session of the General Assembly on 23 November 1982, the Is a'uic Republic
          of Iran made a number of false and damaging statements concerning the r ature
          of the Bah .'I Faith and the activities of its followers. The BaM'I Inter-
          national Community has published a detailed refutation of these false state-
          ments 2/, of which the following are the main points.
          The report alleges that the Bah 'i Faith is a political entity “created and
          nourished by anti—Islamic and colonial powers” and that the Bah . '1 community
          has established “a very sophisticated and systemetic espionage network”.
          The Bah '1 International Community categorically denies these allegations.
          The Bahg.'I Faith is an independent world religion and its followers are f or—
          bidden, by the laws of their faith, from becoming involved in partisan
          politics or in any form of subversive activity.
          The activities of Bah '1 communities in every part of the world are open to
          scrutiny and, in view of the serious nature of the charges made by the
          government of Iran, the Bahg.'I International Community invites the estab-
          lishment of an impartial body of inquiry to mount a thorough investigation
          into Bah 'I activities.
          “Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran - a review of the facts”,
          published by the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to
          the United Nations. Circulated in the Third Committee of the General
          Assembly on 23 November 1982.
          “Statement in Rebuttal of Accusations Made a ainst t e Bab '1 Faith by
          the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United
          Nations”, published by the Bah 'I International Co nunity, 30 November
          1982.
          —1—
          Accredited in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
          Associated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Depsnment of Public Information (DPI)
          
        
          
          All the allegations made against the Bah '1s in Iran are based on deliberate
          misinterpretations of the aims and purposes of the Bah '1 Faith and its
          teachings. The most common charges are repea ed in Iran's new report, which
          accuses BaM'Is of:
          (a) being political supporters of the late Shah;
          (b) being a political organization opposed to the present Iranian
          government;
          Cc) collaborating with SAVAK;
          (d) being enemies of Islam;
          (e) being agents of Zionism.
          All these charges have been explained and refuted by the Bahá'I International
          Commuiiity in its publications 3/. The new charges contained in Iran's latest
          report can be answered as follows:
          The report alleges that ‘Abdu'l—Bah , the son o± the Founder of the Bah '1
          Faith, was an agent of the British government in Palestine during World War I
          and that he was protected, financially rewarded and knighted by the British
          government in recognition of his services. The report quotes the names of
          several prominent Britons associated with ‘Abdu 'l—Bahá as evidence of his
          clandestine connections with the British.
          The facts : ‘Abdu'l...Bah never re eived money from the British government and
          the knighthood conferred upon him was in recognition of his humanitarian
          services to the poor and. needy in Palestine during World War I. The inter-
          vention of the British government to protect his life was inspired by and in
          response to appeals from the British Bahá'Is, who had learned that the
          Turkish commande , Jamal Pasha, had publicly vowed to crucify ‘Abdu'l-Bah
          and his family on Mount Carmel. During his years in the Holy Land,
          ‘Abdu'l-Bah ' was in contact not only with promii ient Britons but also with
          eminent personalities, scholars and leaders in i any parts of Europe and
          the Middle East. His funeral was attended not only by the two British of-
          ficials named in the report but also by the chiefs of the Muslim, Christian,
          Jewish and other religious communities in the Holy Land, and by notables
          from all strata of Palestinian society.
          The report alleges that the Bah .' Faith was used by the British and French
          governments as a tool for colonial expansion, and that invitations to Bah 'Is
          to “spend. a while in India” and. to teach their faith in North Africa provide
          proof of this.
          The facts : Both these incidents are taken from Bahá'i books and quoted out
          of context. In the first, the British Consul—General in Baghdad offered
          humanitarian aid and residence in India to the ersecuted and imprisoned
          Founder of the Bah 'I Faith. Bah 'u'll h declin d these offers and chose to
          remain a prisoner in Baghdad.. In the second cake, ‘Abdu'l—Bahg. mentioned
          in a letter to one of his followers that the French ambassador in Teheran
          (who greatly admired the Bah ' teachings) had suggested that Bah 'Is might
          go to Tunisia and teach their faith there. To suggest that either of these
          3/ “The Bah 'Is in Iran: A Report on the Persecution of a Religious Minority”,
          published by the United Nations Office of the Bahá'I International Community,
          first published in June 1981, revised and. updated July 1982.
          
        
          
          -d
          incidents provides evidence of political collusion between the Bahg' Faith and
          the colonial powers is clearly ridiculous.
          The reoort alleges that, despite the laws of their faith forbidding involvement
          in partisan politics or the holding of any political post, certain Bah ' s held
          high political office during the reign of the late Shah.
          The facts : During the reign of the Shah, it was common for unscrupulous politi-
          cians to attempt to discredit their political opponents by accusing them of being
          Bah ) s. Of the eight persons named in the report, six were never Bah . 'Is and
          never claimed to be. The seventh had once been a Bah '1 but was expelled from
          the Bahg.'I community when he accepted ministerial office in the government of the
          Shah. The eighth, who was indeed a Lahá' , served in the non—political position
          of personal physician to the late Shah.
          The report alleges that Bah )1s are agents and political supporters of Zionism,
          and that the Bähá'I community financially supports the Israeli government.
          The facts : The presence of the Bahá'I World Centre in Israel, and the absence of
          any connection between the Bah ) Faith and Zionism, are fully explained in other
          documents, a ailable for reference 14/. Funds sent by Bah ) s the world over to
          the Bah .'I World Centre are used exclusively for the maintenance of their holy
          shrines and historic sites and for the administration of their faith, just as
          funds are sent by Christians and uslims around the world for the upkeep of their
          holy places in the Holy Land.
          The report alleges that various documents purportedly extracted from the files of
          SAVAK, and summarized in the report, prove the involvement of Bahá'Is in a variety
          of anti—Islamic activities.
          It is impossible for the Bah 'I International Community to comment upon documents
          it has not.seen. It might be asked, however, how and why—-since the present Iran-
          ian government has itself discredited SAVAK--the documentation produced by this
          organization has suddenly become relevant and “authentic tt where Bah 'Is are con-
          cerned? The hostility of SAV.AK towards the Bah 'I community, and the collabora-
          tion between SAVAK and fanatical anti-Bahá'1 organizations, are well documented. 5/
          The report alleges that certain Bah 'Is' charged wi,th a variety of offences were
          given very lenient sentences or were released, and quotes names and details.
          The facts : The summary trials referred to took pJ ce in Shiraz in February 1980.
          Of the four Bah s reportedly released, two are till in prison, and the fifth-—
          reportedly sentenced tQ two years in prison--was summarily executed in Shiraz on
          30 April 1981.
          14/ E/CN.14/l517 — Note by the Secretary—General on the treatment of the Bah ' s
          in Iran, 31 December 1981.
          “The Bahg.'Is in Iran: A Report on the Persecution of a Religious Minority”
          published by the United Nations Office of theBahá 'i International Community,
          first published in June 1981, revised and updated July 1982
          5/ ibid .
          
        
          
          9
          The report alleges (and the cases quoted abcve are intended to support this
          allegation) that no Bahá.'I has been prosecuted or punished simply because of'
          his religion, and that any Bahá'I who has suffered death or imprisonment
          has been guilty of a criminal offence, duly proven in a court of law.
          The facts : This argu.ment does not explain the pervasive and ccntinuing per-
          secution of the entire Bahá'I community in Iran. It ignores the fact that no
          evidence has ever been adduced to support any of the charges brought against
          those Lah 'Is who were executed, and also ignores the fact that, in the very
          few cases in which aBahg.'ihas been willing to recant his faith, he has immed-
          iately been released and all charges against him ro ped - while his fellow
          believers who refused to recant have been executed. The argument does not
          explain the disappearance, following their arrest, of all nine members of the
          national governing body of the BaMtI Faith in Iran, nor the secret execution
          in Teheran (initially denied by the authorities) of eight of their successors.
          Furthermore, the argument that there is no large-scale persecution of the Pah '
          comunity on religious grounds is singularly unconvincing in the light of the
          fact that all Bahá t I community properties and holy places in Iran have been con-
          fiscated and/or destroyed, and that thousands of innocent Bah 'Is have been de-
          prived of their fundamental human rights in a variety of dehumanizing ways,
          including dismissal from employment, denial of pensions, confiscation of private
          property and denial of education to children.
          Details of the persecution of the Bahá'I Community by the government of Iran,
          fully supported by documentary evidence fron Iran, are on record and are avail-
          able for reference. 6/
          Despite the repeated denials of the Iranian government, it is clear that the
          persecution of the Bahá'Is is based s lely upon their religious beliefs. It
          is equally clear that the allegations contained in the November 1982 report
          circulated by Iran represent an attempt to conceal, and to divert international
          attention from, the fanatically religious :ti iation . f the persecution of the
          Bahá 'Is of Iran, and to undermine the good reputation which the Bah ' community
          enjoys throughout the world.
          The Bahg. 'i International Community empi atically refutes all the charges levelled
          against the Bahg.'is by the Iranian government and strongly appeals for the estab-
          lishment of an independent body to investigate the entire situation.
          6/ E/CN.]4/1517 — Note by the Secretary—General on the treatment of the ah 'Is
          in Iran, 31 December 1981.
          “The Bah 'Is in Iran: A Report on the Persecution of a Religious Minority”
          published by the United Nations Office cf the Bah . ' International Community,
          first published in June 1981, revised and updated JJy 1982